NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Tennessee defensive tackle Tony Brown is feeling the payoff in his right knee for the Titans being cautious with his return from offseason surgery.
The Titans removed him from the physically unable to perform list Tuesday, and he practiced with his teammates for the first time this year. His knee had kept him out of the season finale, and Brown had been saying he felt ready to be activated the past couple weeks.
"It felt good to get out here. I been telling y'all I been waiting on the boss to tell me what to do so I'm good. It felt good to get out there with just my teammates and share a few jokes," Brown said.
The Titans signed the five-year veteran to a three-year extension worth $17 million in April but kept him on the PUP list throughout training camp to ensure he was recovered fully. Brown said he was told a week ago when he'd be activated, which he kept to himself while trying to be patient.
"I'm just excited to be back out there running around pain-free, stress-free. All that stuff's in the past. I'm ready to roll," Brown said.
The tackle said he can't wait to play Thursday in the preseason finale against the New Orleans Saints. Coach Jeff Fisher said they will play Brown approximately 15 snaps, similar to how they eased in their top draft pick, defensive end Derrick Morgan, into his preseason debut after only one practice.
That leaves only veteran linebacker David Thornton on the PUP list. He is recovering from surgery on his left shoulder, and time is running out with the final roster cuts due Saturday and the veteran due $4.3 million in salary this year.
Fisher said Thornton took a big step Monday and is improving. Whether Thornton is activated before Thursday's game depends on how Thornton is feeling, according to Fisher. Asked if that means Thornton could be ready for the season opener Sept. 12 against Oakland, Fisher said Thornton is "making strides."
"We just have to wait and see what happens," Fisher said.
The Titans trimmed the roster from 80 to 75 by releasing five players. They waived punter Ricky Schmitt, cornerback Pete Ittersagen and receiver Bobby Sewall and waived as injured linebacker Mike Rivera and defensive tackle Kareem Brown (left shoulder). ... Fisher ruled out OL Mike Otto (right knee) and DE William Hayes (right knee) for the preseason finale. ... DE Jacob Ford (hamstring), LG Leroy Harris (ankle) and rookie LB Rennie Curran (hamstring) did not practice.